Thinking Out Loud

October 23, 2009

Blogger Starts NASB-Only Movement

Filed under: bible, Humor — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:11 pm

Somewhere in the house, I have a New American Standard Bible (NASB).   It was given to me around 1980 by my parents, and it suffered the terrible injustice of being left on the roof of my car after  church on a hot summer day as I removed a suit jacket (remember those?) before driving home for lunch.

NASB classic red hardcoverI saw the Bible fly off the back of the car and as I started to pull over, watched in the rear-view mirror as a car hit it dead-on.   All things considered, the Bible stood up rather well, but another new translation, the New International Version (NIV) was already making waves and my Bible’s somewhat injured front cover signaled this might be a good time to make the NIV my principal text.

I haven’t thought much about the red hardcover NASB since, but tonight it occurred to me that if you wanted to make a case for using a particular translation exclusively, there are much better compelling arguments in favor of that translation being the NASB than many of the others out there.   It’s a formal-correspondence version used a lot in evangelical seminaries and Bible colleges for that very reason, though not much these days outside those given to serious study.

And since the Christian community has shown itself capable of fostering all sorts of weird and wonderful causes, I figure starting a NASB-only movement makes as much sense as anything else out there.

So I am herewith forming the NASB-only movement, right here, right now in this very blog post.   It begins now.   And you were there.

Now I need some people with more than just a hint of resident anger who can help me bash and trash all the other translations.    And we’ll need someone to write a book or two as to why all the other translations are totally inaccurate.

And we need some kind of miracle story “proving” beyond the shadow of a doubt why I have received this mantle to spread the efficaciousness* of the NASB.

Maybe something about my copy surviving a direct hit from a ’73 Pontiac Bonneville.

*That word had my spell check humming for several seconds.   But I think for the movement to survive the weekend, making up new words should be part of the bargain.



  1. I’m down. I love the NASB. I’ve been using it for a long time now. While everyone I know jumps on the ESV bandwagon, I have remained faithful. Count me in.

    Comment by Steven Rossi — October 24, 2009 @ 8:25 am

  2. I’m in as well… I’m a dutch liberal christian, so a bit different from your usual reader, but I have a deep love for good english bible versions.
    I just ordered two NASB bibles, a compact one and a normal one, both with references.
    I used to own the compact one before (from Zondervan) and I consider it to be the most reliable english version around.
    It’s very sad that the newest dutch bible translation (2004) is not very literal and has been pushed as the official translation for all protestant churches…
    With my NASB though, I will be closest to the Masoretic and eclectic greek texts.
    Also, the ESV is heavily overrated: it’s nothing but a pimped up RSV (made a bit more conservative) and also, way too calvinist in my humble opinion (I’m a member of the ORIGINAL arminian church in the Netherlands, the Remonstrant Brotherhood).

    Comment by Hans Vlek — November 8, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

    • Hans,

      Thanks for writing. (I wish your blog was in English!) I agree with you about the ESV. They’ve maintained that it is doctrinally neutral, but there are sections in the notes — I was read John’s gospel most recently — where the bias is evident.

      It was also interesting to hear of a particular translation being, “The official translation for all Protestant churches.” That is so very different from what we experience in North America. Of course we don’t have an official “state” denomination, though the United Church of Canada once thought it was. I’m glad we have a variety of translations in use in our various churches.

      I also was interested in your church, “the original Arminian church in the Netherlands.” I know that for years I just assumed everyone in NL was Protestant Calvinist, and then somebody told me about the large number of Dutch Catholics. So I appreciate learning about your denomination as well.

      Thanks for reading.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — November 8, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

      • Hi Paul,

        I find the ESV to be a real disappointment. Also, as a former catholic and remonstrant christian, I completely reject calvinism.
        My church, the Remonstrant Brotherhood, is the church of the followers of Arminius. He had a theological fight with a guy named Gomarus (they all latinized their names back then) in the first decade of the 16th century over predestination. Both men were professors at the University of Leiden.
        At the synod of Dordt in 1619, Arminius already had died, but his followers were condemned and banished and fled to Antwerp in what is now Belgium.
        Up until the 1850’s, the dutch reformed church was the de facto state church and calvinism had its heyday.
        Nevertheless, catholics, remonstrants and mennonites were tolerated in ‘hiding churches’… churches not visible as such from the outside.
        Our evangelical christians are mostly calvinist, if not in theory, at least in practice… that’s why I joined the remonstrant brotherhood. It’s a very small denomination (6000 members) and tends to be quite liberal. I consider myself to be a conservative liberal.. so I am somewhere in between evangelicalism and liberal christianity.
        As to dutch bible translations: being a language community of 20 million ppl (counting the dutch speaking Belgians as well), we don’t have as many.
        We have an equivalent of the KJV, the RSV and the TEV and a catholic translation which is a bit NRSV like.
        The NBV (nieuwe bijbel vertaling = new bible translation) now has been pushed since 2004 as the bible version for all churches. The catholics don’t want to use it in their liturgy, but most of the other churches so, including mine.
        It is horrid: like a literary good news bible, rather bland, like an NIV turned sour.
        That’s why I use a catholic bible in my church, it simply is the best available translation into dutch.

        Comment by Hans Vlek — November 8, 2009 @ 5:20 pm

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